Daniel Cormier hit the nail on the head for many fans when he said of Jon Jones, "If you're this great guy, then just be this great guy. But if you're kind of an asshole a little bit, then just be [an asshole]. People will respect you more." It's a refrain that has dogged Jones since his earliest days in the UFC limelight. However, Cormier's new comments came on the heels of a recent ESPN interview where both men showed their contrition for brawling at the now infamous UFC Presser. Apparently, shortly before ESPN went live with their broadcast, Jones and Cormier were still going at it, trading insults via video feed. But when the cameras came on, Cormier told Fox Sports that everything changed for Jones, and for his part, the champ isn't denying it:
"We all have hats to wear," Jones said. "So I can feel something about someone and express the way I feel, but when the camera is on, I have a job to do. I represent a brand. I represent a fanbase and I'm not going to be an idiot on national TV just because I don't like the person who's on the other side of the camera. So yeah, he's telling the absolute truth. I swore, I told him all types of [profane], terrible things and when the cameras went on, I was professional. If you consider that fake ... "
"You show different sides of yourself throughout the day," Jones said. "In one day, we can show a hundred different hats. Who's the same person all the time? Everyone has different sides of themselves."
Eventually, the more time Jones has spent in the public eye, doing interviews and press conferences, and the more comfortable he's gotten with his role as one of the most dominant UFC champions of all time, the more fans and media have gotten to see the multiple sides of Jon Jones. Is it that hard to believe then, that when Cormier is calling for Jones to "Just be Jon Jones," that by being duplicitous Jones is being himself?
That may not be what Cormier wants to hear, as he seems eager to just have a cut-and-dried narrative to follow. But, at this point, Jones has shown enough of the good, enough of the bad, enough of the braggadocio, and enough of the humility to say that he's a guy who's always going to work multiple angles, and it shouldn't really be a surprise when he does.